Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dear Yoga Pants Mommy

Dear Mommy in the Yoga Pants at the Park,
You.  Yes, you.  We make fleeting eye contact and your eyes reveal the secret sisterhood of the "I have on yoga pants but I didn't do yoga today".  Don't be ashamed.  You wrangled a toddler while nursing an infant.  So let's just go ahead and call that what it is- yoga.  There you DID do yoga today.
Before I was a mommy I looked down upon the stay-at-home mommy attire.  I got myself up and ready for work every day. I fixed my hair every (ok almost every) day.  And you don't even go anywhere.  And babies sleep SOOOOOO much.  But I get it now.  There's this progression that you don't even feel until one day you realize, BAM, you look like a stay at home mom.  Here's how it went for me...

Newborn phase:
I was recovering from a c-section and a heart condition and surviving on very little sleep in between taking care of the needs of my precious two babes.  But I took a shower EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  That's what naptime is for, my friends.  I know people who put the monitor in a ziplock so they can feel safe taking a shower while the baby naps.  This is not me, but if that's what you need to do, DO IT.  Take a shower.  You will feel so much better.  However, after taking a shower, I just put on my comfies again.  Because hey, I wasn't sleeping much at night, so whatever relaxing and being comfy I could do during the day was important and justified.  Not to mention I was a milk cow and would literally leak milk out of my breasts all over myself if they weren't covered and padded.  I remember how at the beginning I would always make sure my nipple pads (reusable) would match.  Sure, no one saw them, but I knew I was fashionably slopping up my leakage.  But one day I just stopped caring about matching and just started caring about keeping my shirt dry.  I think that one day was somewhere between the laundry being piled up to my knees and the laundry being piled up to my elbows.

Infant phase:
One day the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" app told me I was no longer the parent of newborns, but they had graduated to infanthood.  This means I, too, was emerging from the haze that is newborn.  I continued to shower every day, but as my babies went to 2 long naps a day I was even able to shower during the morning nap, let my hair dry in between, and then straighten it during the afternoon nap. Some days I put on jeans and a nice(ish) shirt.  Especially on the evenings where I would leave the house.  But quickly we arrived at the bodily fluids phase.  Somehow the babies diapers started getting full and sometimes leaky.  The spit up came regularly (far more regularly than when they were newborns.  How does that make sense?!).  And when they started eating it ALL went out the window.  Pieces of food, smears of baby oatmeal, and slobber mixed food regurgitation...  God forbid they sneeze mid-bite!  So the sloppy clothes started getting put back on post-shower. With the eating came massive amounts of more dishes and really gross diapers.  So out went the afternoon hair straightening and in came dishes and diaper duty in the afternoon.  The people I would tutor in the evenings have known me for 11 years, so they don't care what I look like anyway!  And besides, it no longer makes any sense to look even a little nice.

So here's where I am friends.  But here's what I predict the next stage to be like in most mommies lives:
Babies finally get more adept at eating.  But they still sneeze and snot and throw up and throw food and oh my goodness, they've finished eating but now they NEVER stay still!  And I want to clean up but they are eating my electrical wires.  And digging in the trash.  And licking the unkempt floor.  So I don't have time.

And whew... they are finally older!  They're able to occupy themselves for a few minutes!  I can fix my hair!  Wait before I do that, ummmm, why do I feel nauseated?  When was the last time I had my monthly visitor?  Just in case let me pee on a stick.  What?! Here we go again!!

By the time you get all your kids out of the "you make me unclean at all times" phase, you've looked like a stay at home mommy for so long, it's BECOME you.

Seriously though, I don't think most stay at home mommies set out on this journey and think, "I'd like to look like poo every single day of my life, but my kids will certainly always look cute."  I think it's a slow fade, and one day you realize you haven't worn makeup in 2 weeks and you don't remember the last time you fixed your hair.  You realize that your hairdryer stopped working at Christmas and you still haven't replaced it with a new one.  And you think, I should get a new.... hey, don't we need to buy some diapers?

So you, yoga pants mommy- I'll see your yoga pants and raise you a snot covered sweatshirt.  And do you mind if I borrow your blowdryer one day?  I see you aren't using it.

Snot-covered Sweatshirt Mommy